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This weekend in the Adirondacks

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John Warren, of the Adirondack Almanack, joins us Friday mornings with information about local outdoor and backcountry conditions.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

This is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack with your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend.

Winter conditions exist throughout the region. Temperatures are mostly below freezing, and although they are expected to rise this weekend in the lower and middle elevations, the will chill on summits is expected to be in the low single digits.

There are up to 6 inches of snow at the lower elevations in the High Peaks, and as much as 12 inches at higher elevations so pack and use snowshoes and crampons when necessary. Remember to dress in layers and carry plenty of food and water to avoid hypothermia.

Snow cover around the region varies, from a foot or more along the Tug Hill Plateau, to 4 to 6 inches in the Northern and Western slopes of the Adirondacks and two to four inches of snow in the Southeastern Adirondacks.

Twelve inches of snow is being reported at the Lake Colden Interior Cabin; 5 inches at Paul Smiths, but just 2-4 inches around in Northern Warren County and around Old Forge and Indian Lake.  There is 6-10 inches in the Moose River Plains with up to a foot toward Inlet.

The region's rivers and streams are running at normal levels for this time of year and ice is forming on all water bodies and some isolated early season ice fishing has begun.

Ice has formed on smaller lakes and ponds and ice fishing has begun around the region. 8 to 10 inches of ice is being reported on Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden, but many of the lakes at lower elevations have between 4 and 6 inches. Always use caution, especially near inlets and outlets. Ice on or near running water should be avoided and be sure to check the depth of ice before and frequently during crossing.

Nearly all the early season ice climbing routes are being climbed.  Many of the Cascade Pass and Chapel Pond climbs are in  and there is decent climbing reported on the North Side of Pitchoff, at Multi-Gulley, Chillar Pillar, and in the southern Adirondacks / Lake George region as well as at Poke-O-Moonshine, Mineville Pillar, and Underwood Canyon. No climbing reported yet at Pharaoh Mountain or on the North Face of Gothics, but the Palisades on Champlain are coming in.

Nights have been cold enough for snow making and Whiteface and Gore Mountain are open with top to bottom skiing on about half of their trails. McCauley Mountain in Old Forge has a few trails open and Mt. Pisgah will open this weekend with some limited skiing. Big Tupper, Oak Mountain near Lake Pleasant and Hickory in Warrensburg remain closed. All skiers should use caution on the still thin snow cover.

There is not enough snow cover yet in the High Peaks for backcountry skiing, but with the exception of Garnet Hill near North Creek, the region's cross-country ski areas will all be open this weekend, albeit on a limited number of trails and thin cover. The one exception is at Lapland Lake, which would be a good bet for this weekend if you are looking for groomed cross-country trails.

The Lake Placid area has about 4 to 6 inches of snow so the Whiteface Highway is skiable and some sections of the Jackrabbit Trail are skiable with caution. The peninsula section from Saranac Avenue to the Whiteface Club is a good bet there. Marcy Dam Truck Trail not skiable, but Meadow Lane is reported barely skiable, as is the Main Loop at Henry's Woods on Bear Cub Lane in Lake Placid. The Lake Lila Road and the Newcomb Lake Road to Camp Santanoni are skiable as are the trails at the Paul Smith's VIC where five inches of snow make that a good choice along with the Hayes Brook and Fish Pond truck trails.

Most of the region's snowmobile trails remain closed, and what little riding there was around Speculator, Old Forge, and Indian Lake has been reduced this week, the best bet there would be to head toward the eastern parts of the Moose River Plains and Inlet area, the one place in the Adirondack where groomers are operating. Snowmobilers should show restraint in areas with insufficient snow cover to avoid damaging the trails. Check with local clubs before venturing out.

We’re finally getting some winter at lower elevations around the region, but use caution and be on the look out for those thin snow cover areas, hidden obstacles, and thin ice.

Those are the local outdoor conditions in the Adirondacks for this weekend, for North Country Public Radio, this is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack, online at

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